October Unpackaged

Since I did the original zero waste challenge in March, I have continued to make small changes to reduce trash, especially plastics. I got a reusable metal safety razor to use instead of disposables. I am about to switch to bar shampoo and conditioner, once our current stock runs out. I have kept using reusable bags and containers for shopping, because that’s about the easiest thing you can do. We’ve continued to average about two bags of trash per month, plus a fair amount of recycling.

While we’re still doing better than the typical American household, I know we can do a little better. September in particular tends to be a very busy month for me, which means eating way more packaged convenience foods and takeout (and as a result, much more recycling and trash).

For the last few years, I have done the October Unprocessed challenge each October. After a hectic September, it’s a chance to slow down, try making new things from scratch and take the time to really enjoy the last fresh, local produce of the year. Avoiding processed foods also lends itself very well to reducing food packaging, so this year I am calling my personal challenge “October Unpackaged.”

My main goal this month is to figure out strategies to cut back on packaged foods in a way that I can sustain year-round, meaning I am not spending my whole life in the kitchen. I will also continue my efforts to eliminate waste from other aspects of home life as well. And, I’m reinvigorating this blog to keep myself honest and so others can follow along.

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